The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Liv­ing in the past is the fu­ture

- By Paul Drury

THERE’S some­thing de­li­ciously Back To The Fu­ture about Drumsheugh Gar­dens, an el­e­gant blonde sand­stone ter­race where prop­er­ties are be­ing re­turned to res­i­den­tial use nearly 50 years af­ter be­ing con­verted into of­fice suites. De­signed by no­table Kirk­caldy-born ar­chi­tect John Les­sels in 1877 they were built as town­houses, cre­ated to ac­com­mo­date peo­ple in a do­mes­tic, rather than com­mer­cial, set­ting.

But the 1960s set con­ven­tion on its head in many ways, not least the move to­ward con­vert­ing some of Ed­in­burgh’s finer res­i­den­tial West End prop­er­ties into of­fices and ho­tels.

Drumsheugh Gar­dens was no dif­fer­ent and num­bers 25 to 27 be­came the head­quar­ters for the Law So­ci­ety Of Scot­land.

Work is now un­der way to right a wrong, trans­form­ing the B-listed prop­erty back into 17 lux­ury apart­ments.

The lawyers have found a mod­ern of­fice block else­where in the city, al­low­ing Sun­dial Prop­er­ties to re­turn this gor­geous slice of Drumsheugh Gar­dens to the kind of place where peo­ple would want to live.

It’s a grow­ing trend picked up by ur­ban ex­pert Dr Iain Gor­don Brown, past pres­i­dent of the Old Ed­in­burgh Club.

He said: ‘In Drumsheugh Gar­dens, you are re­turn­ing for­mer res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties to their orig­i­nal use.

‘And the trend in Ed­in­burgh seems to me now to be the con­ver­sion of th­ese build­ings into highly at­trac­tive res­i­den­tial use.

‘That can’t be any­thing but a good thing. It is an ex­tremely live­able and walk­a­ble city.

‘And that, I think, is one of the dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures that makes Ed­in­burgh such an at­trac­tive place to be.’

In the past week alone, four of the 17 Sun­dial prop­er­ties have been snapped up, two by wealthy US in­vestors, and it’s not hard to see the at­trac­tion.

The spec­i­fi­ca­tion is very high end. Buy­ers get to in­herit the hand-built Vic­to­rian crafts­man­ship that has been re­tained over the years – some of the most in­tri­cate cor­nic­ing you’ll see in Scot­land, orig­i­nal fire­places, the odd cupola and in one apart­ment, an orig­i­nal Vic­to­rian bil­liard room.

Ca­tri­ona Aitchi­son, a di­rec­tor of Sun­dial Prop­er­ties, said: ‘We were de­lighted to dis­cover the Law So­ci­ety had boxed in a lot of the orig­i­nal fea­tures to pre­serve them.

‘We dis­cov­ered Num­ber 25 had been built for a ship­ping mag­nate, who must have spec­i­fied won­der­ful tim­ber to be used.

‘All the de­tail­ing on the plas­ter­work fea­tures ropes and chains and the de­tail­ing around the cupola is mag­nif­i­cent.’

The prop­erty de­vel­op­ers ap­pre­ci­ate that as well as orig­i­nal fea­tures, own­ers are pre­pared to put up with a bit of mod­ernism, par­tic­u­larly in the kitchen.

For that rea­son, each in­di­vid­u­ally de­signed cook­ing area has been shipped in from Italy and paired with Miele ap­pli­ances.

Kitchens have Quooker taps, which de­liver in­stant boil­ing wa­ter, and Co­rian work­tops, with a con­cealed sink below to of­fer more workspace.

A nod to tra­di­tion can be de­tected in the in­stal­la­tion of dado pan­elling in the bath­room and, for peace of mind, the front door has se­cure en­try and there is a lift to the up­per apart­ments.

Ms Aitchi­son said: ‘There is a big down­siz­ing de­mand in Ed­in­burgh and a grow­ing in­ter­na­tional mar­ket as well. I tell prospec­tive buy­ers they need never move again be­cause this build­ing caters for their every need.

‘They are walk­ing into a prop­erty where all the ma­jor ser­vices have been re­newed – the roof, electrics, floor­ing and plumb­ing. We are sell­ing more than a home, we are sell­ing a lifestyle.’

Prop­er­ties from £395,000-£1.3 mil­lion. Con­tact Ca­tri­ona Aitchi­son on 0131 220 9130 or email ca­tri­ona@sun­di­al­prop­er­ties. co.uk.

 ??  ?? El­E­gant: The apart­ments have been cre­ated from a sand­stone prop­erty pre­vi­ously used as of­fices
El­E­gant: The apart­ments have been cre­ated from a sand­stone prop­erty pre­vi­ously used as of­fices
 ??  ?? lifE of lux­ury: The prop­er­ties have been fin­ished to a high stan­dard and the Ital­ian kitchens fea­ture Miele ap­pli­ances
lifE of lux­ury: The prop­er­ties have been fin­ished to a high stan­dard and the Ital­ian kitchens fea­ture Miele ap­pli­ances

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